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I was cleaning up (read: organizing) my diabetes cupboard and I saw the box of syringes, I was bored enough that I decided to line them up and take a picture.

 

There were 60 of them, which used to be a month worth of basal rate if you will (14 units of levimir in the morning, and 16 at night).

 

There is no cure for diabetes...

 

Yet!

This week's focus for Diabetes 365 is the costs of diabetes.

 

For me, one of the costs of diabetes has been loosing the niceness of the nails on my toes. This is due to my cycling shoes that I wear while I bike in the Tour de Cure's for diabetes. Had I not had diabetes, this is most likely not something I would be doing.

 

I have pretty much managed to destroy both my pinky toes thanks to my cycling shoes. I'm not sure they'll ever have normal looking nails, they're all bruised and everything, and while I do consider this a cost of diabetes, I think I can say that it's one of the costs that I will gladly endure and that I'm thankful for (most days).

 

There is no cure for diabetes...

 

Yet!

Outside our hotel. We were right on the ocean.

A stall full of Swatch-like plastic watches at Tung Choi Street, Hong Kong. I bought a couple because they were so cheap, and pretty cute. But it also reminded me that as a diabetic, I'm constantly checking my watch. When was the last time I ate? Do I need to test my blood sugar now? Is it time for a snack? I guess having a cute watch makes things a little happier, sometimes. :)

Another wonderful co-worker decided to take on diabetes for the day. These people are simply astounding in their desire to really understand.

 

September 9, 2008

 

Six Until Me.

So, the other day I went to check my blood sugar, but instead of a decent sample I just sprayed blood all over my face and shirt. In the moment I just had to laugh and snap a picture. :-)

The last strawberries of the summer. Tiny and delicious.

It is a beautiful, sunny Friday here in Taiwan. I took a break over my lunch hour to sit outside near the fountain and read the book my diabetes buddy, Beth, sent me, "Truth and Beauty." I tested my bloodsugar and the fingerprick made my finger gush. Proof is on page 94.

 

There is no cure for diabetes.

Yet.

 

My feet work hard. I have rough callouses on my feet and high arches, making my feet prone to aches and pains. Having diabetes makes foot care even more important. I do wear sandals, usually Birkenstocks, especially here in Taiwan, and don't subscribe to the notion of having to wear those thick, heavy diabetic socks. I don't like socks. I like to let my feet breathe. That said, my feet are not pretty. Like my fingertrips, they show the work and the years of wear and tear that comes from living, and having diabetes. My feet are very sensitive and I take them for a safe pedicure and soak once in a while, especially here in Taiwan.

Cornfield.

 

Not in Florida anymore.

Going through yet another car wash (yeah, I'm obsessed. I love being in car washes!) reminded me of the impact of bubbles. As the bubbles covered my windshield here in beautiful colors, I reflect on how easy it is to get little air bubbles into my insulin pen and how that can really screw up my bloodsugars.

 

I saw all these tiny bubbles in my Humalog pen tonight, but still went ahead and bolused, giving myself an extra unit to make up for the bubbles. One hour later? 300. Two hours later? 296.

 

I know better. Yet...here I am. Hyperglycemic. Again. It really bursts my bubble!

I think they blew my vein when I donated blood yesterday. Nice bruise, right?

Every 3 days as an insulin pump wearer, I have to change my infusion set site (the place where the insulin goes into me). As a result, there are a minimum of 10 site changes a month (more if a site gets irritated).

 

These are all just belly/waist sites. I also use my thighs and my arms and my buns and my hips.

 

There is no cure for diabetes...

 

Yet!

Felt like I was in this after returning to work today.

January 8, 2010

 

Baby girl gets bigger every day, and so do I. My belly has officially "popped" into pregnancy mode, and there's no hiding it even if I tried. (Unless I wear that mega winter coat that we picked up for Sundance, which makes me look like a tick. Pictures of that monstrosity later.)

 

BSparl moves a lot these days, and at night, she kicks and scoots around from side to side, making Chris and I stare at my belly as it shifts around on its own.

 

This has been a pretty amazing experience so far, and I'm really, really excited to meet this little girl in just a few months.

 

Six Until Me.

My husband made me the ornament he gave me this year. It's our initials. :) He cast it out of aluminum. He's a smarty pants.

Moderation not deprivation

Tuesday January 1, 2013

 

2013!!! In a tradition that's new to me, we had 12 (+6 because we had lots of grapes) grapes for good luck at midnight - one for each month of 2013. To bolus or not to bolus? I didn't, since I was going to sleep soon and didn't want to risk a nighttime low.

Sunday July 24, 2011

 

Oh, strawberries, I don't always know how to bolus for you, but I love you so.

People with diabetes are part of an exclusive club - The Strip Club. Dues are very expensive, ranging from $3 to $15 a day. To maintain membership, members have to provide multiple blood samples everyday. The club refuses to reduce or discount membership dues In spite of repeated requests from its members. Members wish that they did not have to continue membership, but they don't have a choice, because currently, once they are involuntarily enrolled in the club, they cannot opt out.

 

There is no cure for diabetes, yet.

Sunday September 18, 2011

 

Sunday afternoon, we had a Colombian feast with my boyfriend's family. Even Harry ate too much.

Today I got my exercise in by walking along the lakefront near downtown Milwaukee. I love the water and am so drawn to Lake Michigan. It is so beautiful and in the few moments I have along her shores each month, I delight in the calm and peacefulness that fills me up while simultaneously energizing me.

 

I was 77 mg/dl after my walk and had to get lunch before my appointment. I had a guacamole BLT sandwich which was delish.

 

It was a good day!

Amelia Earhart is one of my personal heroes. I began taking flying lessons at age 25 after reading an awe inspiring biography of her life, but stopped short of my goal of a solo flight because of the cost of lessons and the strict requirements for glucose control.

 

My A1C was hovering in the low 7's and my bloodsugars rarely held totally steady throughout the day, and that wasn't good enough. Despite my hot flight instructor, I got discouraged and gave up on my dream of piloting my own plane, solo. There are some dreams worth fighting for, and other dreams that I let fall by the wayside as acceptable casualties of a life with type 1 diabetes. I took my flying lessons, but I knew that it'd be too expensive and too frustrating for me to continue pursuing flying as a viable hobby. I still like the feeling of take-off and would gladly accompany another in a small Cessna, but I'm okay with not being a real pilot. I wanted to try it, and I did, but there were other more important things to me that I decided to fight for in my life.

 

Touring Europe by rail (solo), living and studying in Germany, falling madly in love & working abroad in Canada, volunteering in rural *no running water* India for three months, publishing some of my poetry, driving cross-country with college friends, running a 1/2 marathon with my sister in Hawaii (to benefit the ADA), teaching Shakespeare, poetry, writing and literature to students in the inner-city, moving (alone) to the East Coast and living in Portland, falling recklessly in love (again), climbing the Great Wall and living & teaching ESL to my wonderful grad students in Taiwan are a few of the dreams that I've pursued with vigor and been successful at completing. I have many memories and wonderful experiences, and am honored to share a name with one as adventurous and amazing as Amelia Earhart.

 

l'll always remember the feeling of taking control of the small Cesna airplane for the first time and flying through the blue sky, navigating the small plane amidst the clouds over Milwaukee. It was a surreal feeling.

 

An old family friend, Larry, gave me a large posterboard photograph of Amelia Earhart in flight from Oakland to Honolulu from March 13th, 1937. It hangs above my kitchen table and continues to inspire me. If you haven't heard Joni Mitchell's song for her, Amelia , listen here. It's beautiful.

Having Type 1 Diabetes can make a person feel different. It's not so easy to blend in when you need to test, take shots, or wear an insulin pump. Your life can revolve around food, numbers, and the idea of looming complications.

Sometimes it's hard not to see myself as that lone tiny lavender colored crocus surrounded by the strong deep purple ones. But I can always turn that statement around. I can remember that although diabetes makes me a little different, I am still beautiful in my own way like that tiny flower.

 

There is no cure for Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes.

 

Yet.

the topper for my first christmas tree in my place in ages. i love gingerbread men, but i love the frosting the most. not so friendly to the bs.

While the doorbell was ringing and the munchkins were picking their candy, I had cranberries and kielbasa cooking on the stove. It smells amazing, and it surprisingly yummy, but wreaks havoc on my BGs... quick spike and then a delayed drop. :-P

Do you check you blood sugar a lot? This might look familiar to you.

 

4 holes and one middle finger = 5 (numbers week)

Happy Birthday to Beth's beloved, Daniel! Today I'm sending out the postcards to the OC. If you sent me your address, you're getting one. If not, I have a few left...you can email me at amyliagrace@yahoo.com and I'll send some Taiwan love your way!

I've recently started walking home from work when it's nice out and I have the time (it's 5 miles so it takes ~2 hours). It's a fun walk and it keeps my bg nice and level!

My son's art project which he titled Balloon Fiesta Ready. Best viewed in large.

 

I wanted to post this because my son has been going through some difficulties with his diabetes. His Blood Sugars have been HIGH for some unknown reason (maybe a growth spurt) which can cause major complications. He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of two and he is now seven. We have spent numerous hours at the doctor's office lately as well as conversing with his doctor through email to make daily adjustments on his insulin dosage. He is also monitored at night and has been getting insulin injections (shots) in the middle of the night while he is sleeping to bring down his blood sugar. High blood sugars can also cause Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) which can cause him to go into a coma or even death.

 

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that results in the permanent destruction of insulin producing beta cells of the pancreas. Autoimmunity is a condition where one's own immune system "attacks" structures in one's own body either destroying the tissue or decreasing its functionality.

 

Insulin is not cure, but does keep my son alive. My family and I are dedicated to help find a cure for this life threatening disease.

 

Of course the dialated eye shot after the eye dr appt. And this is after that had gotten a little smaller. But the doc said everything looks great!!!

Sometimes I feel like this duck, about to get flooded out of his pool.

---------WARNING: In sad mood-rant inevitable----------------------------

 

I don't like to consider myself unhealthy or differently-abled, but I am. I'm not in a wheelchair and I'm not really physically or cognitively impaired (save for those all to regular hypo/hyperglycemic moments when my body betrays me), but I'm not in the norm, either.

 

Today I'm just really sick of being lumped in with all diabetics, specifically type 2's. I mean no disrespect to type 2's, but it's a totally different reality and disease and everyone around me, upon hearing that I'm diabetic, goes off about what they know about their own or others type 2 diabetes.

 

My aunt and grandma are type 2 and they NEVER test their bloodsugar and they aren't on insulin, take one pill a day, never exercise, eat sweets daily, consume what they want (more or less), and their A1C's are still way under mine. My grandma just did a victory dance today because she got her A1C back and it was 6.8. I love my grandma and I don't want anything bad to happen to her, but I'm sorry--she didn't "earn" that victory.

 

I work hard but seem to be brushed off with "lower your A1C" and "get your weight down" and while of course that is what needs to be done, no one sees the daily grind and the ways I work my ass off to be as healthy as I am. It just gets to me because my other friends who are type 2 are the same way--they don't test and because their bodies still produce insulin, they're better off than I am glucose level wise, despite my never-ending hard work managing my disease. And while I don't wish this on anyone and am glad they aren't burdened in the same way, I don't have that luxury, and I don't see our diseases as similar in many ways at all.

 

I test 10 times a day and take 6-7 shots a day and watch what I eat, exercise while managing bloodsugar levels and fret and pre-plan and calculate and carb count and all the rest and I STILL have an A1C of 7.2 and I'm STILL spending this afternoon at the Eye Institute talking to my doc about the newly discovered retinopathy in my eyes.

 

I don't want to be a whiner, and I don't wan to be a victim. It's just that this morning, after going to bed with a bloodsugar of 308 and waking up with one of 142 after no correction nor food (I was just curious what my body would do since I am having all these lows overnight for some reason I do not yet know), I am tired. I am tired of playing doctor, life coach, pancreas, cheerleader, psychologist, trainer and friend to myself. I really do wish type 1 diabetes had a different name because the reality of this disease compared with type 2 is usually very, very different.

 

------------End Rant------------------------

Saturday October 15, 2011

 

My first time apple picking! I'm going to need more peanut butter...

we spent the day at disneyland and disney's california adventure. it was fun!

all of the walking meant i didn't bolus as much for my meals, which worked out nicely. :)

  

insulin is not a cure.

LOVE this picture. There is just something about it that makes me grin every single time.

O_o Not cool headphones. Took a good 5 minutes to get untangled.

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